Hospice, Scared, Guilty - no winning

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Mom was put in the hospital in November for dehydration. While there, we discovered her lungs are covered with white nodules - 27, top to bottom, both sides. Doctors recommended we not do more invasive testing to confirm their suspicion of lung cancer. She had been a breast cancer survivor 9 years ago, and we are guessing it spread to lungs. Because she has dementia, she does not remember this at all. Fast forward to the end of January where her breathing was short and pain severe in her chest. I called for a doctor's appointment and they suggested Hospice. I began services with Hospice and am so glad for their support - we have been assigned a very caring nurse, not eager for medicine but just keeping mom comfortable. I am scared about what I read of the morphine and ativan and being the one to give these drugs to her. It is scary to think I am causing her decline. I am reminded why they are needed when the pain breaks through and my mom is so confused by her chest pain. She's still willing to eat and drink. I am able to get her to the potty most times. She has uncontrollable shaking at least once a day. She sleeps with her mouth wide open and is developing discoloration on her face but nowhere else. If this is it, her natural end of life, then ok. But if I am hastening her passing, causing her anxiety, keeping her too sleepy to enjoy sunny spring days, then I hate myself. No question, just wanting to scream in frustration, but mom is sleeping and I don't want to wake her.

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Dear findthehumor,

Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Your mother is lucky to have you and your loving care. I know its extremely hard, but you've done the right thing. Sending you love and hugs.

Dear Midkid,

Thank you for your beautiful words. Your dad was so lucky to have you for his daughter.
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Midkid, that was  very well written and lovely advice to the OP.
Also, findthehumor, your mother won’t be able to appreciate that spring day or any memories she has if she is in a lot of pain. Her mind will focus on the pain only, and you have the opportunity to help her alleviate her pain and anxiety with the hospice medications. Pain takes so much energy - energy your mother may not have now due her illness.
Try to keep to administering those meds on a schedule with the goal that she is medicated to prevent her pain recurrence when the medication wears off. In other words, keep ahead of the pain. It’s helpful to keep a log of what time and dose was given last & her response as that will assist in determining what dose and interval work best to keep her pain free. 
This is a difficult journey but you have chosen what I think is the correct plan to assure that your mother is comfortable. That is the best gift you can give her at the end of her life.
God Bless.
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You are not hastening the inevitable. You are doing the most loving, kind thing you can do. I went through this with daddy, and I expect the same will happen with mother.

It can be frightening, but since I have unshakable faith in an afterlife, aiding daddy in that passage into that wonderful world was, to me, sacred. The hours I spent in quiet solitude with my sweet dad, sometimes being silent, sometimes singing to him, if he requested it...are treasured moments of peace. I felt angels present. I had quiet, reflective moments with him. He was my daddy. He was only one of two people in this world who loved me unconditionally, and I miss that every single day.

Daddy wanted this. He chose it. We were carrying out his wishes. I'm crying as I sit here and write this.

I hope you find the strength to do this final act of compassion and love. I was honored to be a small part of daddy's transition into Heaven.
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Do not feel guilty, you are doing nothing wrong. Your mom is coming to the end of her life because of the lung cancer, doctors now adays are sure what they are looking at, for the most part, it is insurance companies that say more tests, more tests, we don't want to pay for something we don't have to and we need to protect everyone from lawsuits. Very sad in these situations, leaving you feeling unsure and scared, trust the doctors diagnosis, hospice does not want to kill your mom, if I went on hospice and was given morphine, yes it would kill me, I have an extreme allergy to it, I was fortunate to find this out when I was able to say, hey wait a minute, something is far wrong. I don't know but, I wonder if some that believe hospice killed there LO were not maybe dealing with some unknown allergy, I don't personally believe that even if that was the case that hospice killed anyone. Hospice is not a go to solution that is recommended lightly, there are many factors involved, mostly it's because modern medicine can do no more for the patient and in compassion do not want to have people go through unnecessary suffering.
Is your mom able to speak and understand? Maybe talk to her about how much she is getting, would she like to be awake more or is she satisfied with the current amount, I had a sister that spent 7 weeks in agony because she was scared to be doped up, I for one never want to go through that, nor do I want to put others through it.

If possible, let mom decide and know that what ever she decides, you are giving her the gift of honoring her last wishes.

May God give you peace and strength through this journey.
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Be good to yourself. You are helping her as she reaches the natural end of her life. And she is reaching the natural end of her life. Helping her be pain free (morphine) and relaxed and peaceful (ativan) is a gift you are giving her. You will learn what works for her and what she needs.

As my father was dying, even without morphine he slept more and started to close in on himself. He really wasn't aware of those sunny days. Later, as morphine was needed, it was a blessing to know he wasn't uncomfortable.

I'm so glad you have hospice involved. Make sure you ask them all the questions you need to ask.
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